Foot Locker Cross Country
Nov 25 - Dec 9, 2006

a DyeStat featured meet

Foot Locker finals index -

Gallery of Finalists - West girls

text by Steve Underwood, photos by PhotoRun

(Explanation of Win/Place/Show section:  As an extra feature, the “Win/Place/Show” section predicts where each finalist can reasonably aspire to finish, with “Win” meaning going for victory, “Place” meaning top 5 or 10, and “Show” meaning top 15-20.  Although only half of the runners will finish in the top 20, it is reasonable to say that’s what each athlete hopes to do, at the very least (no one “wants” to finish in the bottom half), and can do if they have a great day.

1. Jordan Hasay
2009, Arroyo Grande CA - Mission Prep HS

Overview:  The story on Jordan all year long has been that she’s peaking for USATF Jr. XC and Worlds after that, so there’s an explanation for the fact that while she’s been dominating as much as ever, her times haven’t been quite as sharp.  Like last year, she and Marie Lawrence ran in separate races at Clovis and Mt. SAC, with Jordan faster in the former and Marie in the latter.  Of course, last year at that time, Jordan was still climbing the ladder to the top.  Her time at state, though, was about where she wanted it to be and while heat slowed things down somewhat at FL West, she still won decisively over Mel.

Leading Stats
2006 CC:  1st FL West 17:43, 1st D5 state 17:15 (1st overall), 1st Mt. SAC Indiv. Sweeps 17:12 (2.91M; 3rd overall), 1st Clovis D4 17:17 (1st overall),
2006 Track:  9:26.32 3k 1st Stanford Open, 1st Arcadia 10:07.56, 1st CIF 10:13.55, 3rd NON 4:42.27y, 1st Golden West 4:42.21y, 1st USATF 3k 9:50.66, 1st Sacramento MOC 4:43.09, CentSect 2:11.50-1st/10:20.69-1st,
2005 CC: 1st FL Finals 17:05, 1st FL West 17:14, 1st D5 State 17:11, 1st Mt. SAC Indiv. Sweeps 16:48 (2.91M), 1st Section 17:02, 1st Clovis (small schools) 17:36, 1st Morro Bay 18:01
2005 Track: 6th JO Youth 9:35.12 (3k), 1st Lompoc Kiwanis 10:33.4y, 1st JO Youth 4:28.61, 1st Cuesta Coll. 4:51.48

Win/Place/Show:  WIN – Last fall, Jordan reached the top of the hill, literally and figuratively, as she drove up the toughest climbs at Mt. SAC and Balboa en route to the victories that made her the queen of prep harriers.  But that hill may look like a mountain this year and Jordan can be forgiven if she’s feeling like she has to prove herself all over again.  Between her late peak and the record-crushing performances in the South Region (and near-records in the Midwest), people are doubting if Jordan can repeat.  And then there’s Mel, whom she beat last week but is running her final Finals after three runner-up performances.  So what’s a reigning champ to do?  Jordan can only be herself, and that means stoking those deep competitive fires and trying to break the field with her withering mid-race moves.  If she can win, it will top her achievements of last fall by a landslide.

2. Marie Lawrence
2007, Reno NV - West Reno HS

Overview:  Despite the long summer that going to the IAAF World Juniors in the steeplechase entailed, Mel has come back for her final prep harrier campaign and run pretty much as well as she has all of her career.  She’s won Stanford, Clovis (2nd overall), Mt. SAC, and her state meet with times that compare pretty well.  At FL West, she was just 12 seconds behind Jordan, but both were slower this year, possibly from the heat.

Leading Stats
2006 CC:  2nd FL West 17:55, 1st 4A state 18:22, 1st Mt. SAC (Team Sweeps) 16:50 (1st overall) (2.91M), 1st Stanford 17:06, 1st Clovis seeded 17:29 (2nd overall),
2006 Track: 1st NON 2kST 6:35.63, 1st USATF 3kST 10:15.26, 10th World Jr. 3kST 10:17.84 (10:22.85-6th in semis), 2nd Golden West 10:20.95
2005 CC:  2nd FL Finals 17:19, 2nd FL West 17:38, 1st 4A State 18:28, 1st Mt. SAC Team Sweeps 16:29 (2.91M), 1st Stanford 17:26, 1st Clovis 17:19, 1st Elko 18:04
2005 Track:  1st U.S. Jr. 9:44.85 (3k), 2nd Golden West 4:48.32y
2004 CC:  2nd FLN 17:39, 1st FLW 17:56

Win/Place/Show:  WIN – It’s safe to say that Mel is the popular favorite for much of the country’s fans out there.  Her record of three straight runner-ups is without precedent.  The only problem is that not only is Jordan as tough for her to beat as ever, but there’s at least 3-4 others who are contenders to win in what may be the best girls field ever at the top.  To win, Mel is probably going to have to dig down deep and run faster than ever AND show the same gritty finish that she had in setting the USR in the 2k steeple last spring.  It would be a great finish to a stellar career if she can pull it off.

3. Jessica Tonn
2010, Scottsdale AZ - Xavier College Prep HS

Overview:  Jessica has kept improving all season, working her way up the Arizona and Southwest elite.  She was 2nd in 5A-D1 state to Nadya Bishton, then 3rd in the Border War meet between AZ and NM.  Still, who could have predicted she could get 3rd at FL West?  She ran a very smart race and finished very strongly in the last half-mile, beating Bishton for the first time.

Leading Stats
2006 CC:  3rd FL West 18:24, 3rd Border War 19:04, 2nd 5A-D1 state 18:52 (3rd overall),

Win/Place/Show:  PLACE/SHOW – If Jessica doesn’t let herself get intimidated by the clash of the titans going on in front, she could run the way she did the previous week and have a chance to finish anywhere from 10th to 20th.

4. Nadya Bishton
2008, Glendale AZ - Mountain Ridge HS

Overview:  Nadya got a bit of a surprise when fellow Arizonan Jessica Tonn blew past her on the track at Mt. SAC, but that hardly took away from the fact that she ran a very good, smart race to take 4th in her biggest race to date.  She had improved significantly during a relaxed summer of training and gotten the regional-level experience she needed with a 3rd at Stanford.  After winning 5A-D1 state (best time overall), completing an unbeaten season in AZ, she won the Border War with NM.

Leading Stats
2006 CC:  4th FL West 18:27, 1st 5A-D1 state 18:11 (1st overall), 1st Border War 18:50, 3rd Stanford 17:30,

Win/Place/Show:  PLACE/SHOW – Nadya ran the right type of race to qualify for the Finals and she’d be best off using the same strategy again.  There will be at least six runners probably pulling away from everyone else, leaving Nadya in a good position to make a run at 10th-20th.

5. Lauren Saylor
2007, Fresno CA - Buchanan HS

Overview:  Lauren’s comeback after a rough junior year has been one of the best stories of 2006, as she has again become a Cali. and regional leader.  She didn’t win many big races, but consistently was runner-up to the region’s best (Mel, Christine Babcock) in the biggest races – Woodbridge, Stanford, Mt. SAC.  She was 3rd at D1 state – 8th overall – a race just a bit off what she’d been doing.  But FL West was right there again.  It’s her 2nd trip to the Finals after making it as a soph.

Leading Stats
2006 CC:  5th FL West 18:29, 3rd D1 state 17:49 (8th overall), 2nd Mt. SAC Team Sweeps 17:10 (2.91M; 2nd overall), 2nd Stanford 17:27, 2nd Clovis seeded 17:45 (3rd overall), 2nd Woodbridge 16:35 (3M),

Win/Place/Show:  PLACE – Saylor has a great chance, if she runs well, to go for the top 10.  Her experience here and maturity should give her an edge on some of the contenders for the top spots after the big six or seven.

6. Elizabeth Coe
2008, Fountain Valley CA - Fountain Valley HS

Overview:  Coe has been on the edge of the elite group in CA for awhile, but her victory in the D1 state meet made it clear she had arrived (if anyone was still doubting).  She carried over that success to FL West and, like all of the qualifiers behind Jordan and Mel, ran a smart race to get well into the top eight.

Leading Stats
2006 CC:  6th FL West 18:32, 1st D1 state 17:40 (5th overall), 1st Mt. SAC D1 Varsity 17:29 (6th overall),

Win/Place/Show:  SHOW – In speaking about her effort at FL West afterward, Coe displayed a perspective of not getting too intense about goals and pressure, but just getting up there, running how she felt and going with the flow.  At the front this week, however, and probably beyond that, the competition IS going to be intense for the All-American spots.  Coe may need to get more intense to run to her potential with this group and place in the top half.  As a junior, she’ll have a chance next year, too.

7. Alex Kosinski
2007, El Dorado Hills CA - Oak Ridge HS

Overview:  Alex’s comeback from a preseason injury is a great success story.  Her performances before state showed she’d bounced back nicely from injury, but few expected she could be runner-up to Babcock, but with a great 17:33, that’s exactly what she was.  At FL West, she was on the tail end of the qualifiers, but made it back with seven seconds to spare.

Leading Stats
2006 CC:  7th FL West 18:36, 2nd D2 state 17:33 (3rd overall),
2006 Track:  2nd Golden West 4:42.93y, 2nd CIF 4:42.31, 2nd Arcadia 4:50.14y, 1st Ventura Co. 10:40.36,
2005 CC:  20th FL Finals 18:07, 8th FL West 18:20, 5th D2 State 18:00, 5th Mt. SAC Indiv. Sweeps 17:27 (2.91M), 2nd Stanford D2 18:32, 3rd Clovis 17:38
2005 Track:  1st Sacro Champs 2:11.8, 1st Sacro Champs 4:49.26, 2nd Arcadia 4:53.1y, 1st Wilson Inv. 10:35.68
2004 CC:  20th FLW 19:14

Win/Place/Show:  SHOW – Now that Alex has made it back, she can shoot on improving from last year’s 20th place.  With a good race, she could do just that, especially if she can call on her 4:42 mile speed at the end.

8. Kauren Tarver
2008, Wrightwood CA - West Serrano HS

Overview:  Kauren didn’t look like a very good candidate to return for her 3rd trip to San Diego at season’s start, but by the section finals, she was back near top form.  At D1 state, she was just a few strides away from winning.  She didn’t feel too great at Mt. SAC last Saturday, but ran in with Kosinski with room to spare.

Leading Stats
2006 CC:  8th FL West 18:36, 2nd D1 state 17:40 (6th overall), 15th Mt. SAC Indiv. Sweeps 18:42,
2006 Track:  4:55.37 3rd SouSectD2, SouSect Masters 4:56.49-7th/10:48.42-8th,
2005 CC:  5th FL Finals 17:40, 3rd USATF Jrs 20:47 (6k), 39th World Jrs. 21:26 (6k), 4th FL West 17:59, 1st D2 State 17:36, 2nd Mt. SAC Team Sweeps 17:02, 1st Woodbridge (3M) 16:37
2005 Track:  2nd SS Masters 4:54.33
2004 CC:  16th FLN 18:28, 6th FLW 18:27

Win/Place/Show:  PLACE/SHOW – Kauren has returned to form, but in this year’s field, that’s not going to be enough to duplicate last year’s 5th.  As much as anyone, she’s going to notice how tough the talent from the other regions is making it this year.  It’s as if Jordan and Mel have duplicated themselves twice.  But making it two straight top ten finishes is a good goal.


9. Sarah Cummings
2007, Newport CA - Corona del Mar HS

Overview:  With team leader Annie St. Geme graduated, Sarah has been the leader of this top-notch national powerhouse.  Often running just against CA’s D3 competition, she has often not been pushed in her wins.  Although her team couldn’t get the win at NTN, she finished good enough and got some help to earn the top berth to FL Finals from there.

Leading Stats
2006 CC:  8th NTN 19:39, 1st D3 state 17:58 (12th overall), 1st Mt. SAC D3 17:37 (2.91M), 4th Stanford 17:40,

Win/Place/Show:  SHOW – Cummings probably isn’t quite at the same level as some of the other qualifiers, based on her place at state and other races, but it would be good for her to try and focus on some of her Cali. rivals in mid-pack and try for a top-half finish.


10. Shelby Buckley
2008, Newport CA - Corona del Mar HS

Overview:  Shelby has been CDM’s #2 most of the year as the team rolled to another NTN berth.  She seems to be peaking at the right time, though, as she was very close to her teammate at NTN and was a strong 10th place.

Leading Stats
2006 CC:  10th NTN 19:51, 2nd D3 state 18:18 (29th overall), 6th Mt. SAC D3 19:05, 6th Stanford 17:44,

Win/Place/Show:  SHOW – Buckley’s best strategy would be to keep her teammate in sight as best she can and fight for a finish in the top half.  She can also keep in mind she’ll have a second shot at this next year.


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